The “warm” spell (warmer than the arctic air anyway) is too brief; 30’s and 40’s degree temperature (normal in NYC) for – what? – two days – and now it’s quickly back to the arctic windchill (or the actual arctic temperature; either way, it’s cold).
Speaking of politics, I liked the NY Times article on the Iowa caucus; the description of how it worked really sounded like old style democracy (or, at least, the way my old junior high school social studies teacher used to describe colonial New England town hall). And, I never knew how “political” it can be to hold a caucus in someone’s home – but it’s Iowa for you, I guess. It makes sense that Iowans are leaning toward having the caucus in schools and so forth these days.
Fascinating NY Times article on a federal district judge’s struggle with what he felt was an unjust law. Judge Gerard Lynch of Southern District of NY in Manhattan was not comfortable about sentencing an 18 year old defendant with no prior criminal record for a file-sharing pornography software that he created/advertised/abetted/etc., which included child porn. Apparently, the defendant did not create or made money off the of images; yet he was given a maximum sentence of ten years, as per federal law. The judge tried every way to persuade the US attorney’s office to come to a “different conclusion.” He all but encouraged a jury nullification. In a hearing, he noted that the defendant may have had a lesser sentence had the defendant actually molested a child.
And yet the US attorney’s office noted that there was a duty “‘to enforce the laws enacted by Congress.” Judge Lynch acknowledged this; no doubt since he himself was formerly of the US attorney’s office of Manhattan, he was aware of what enforcing the law meant. Quite an article.
Slate.com’s Dahlia Lithwick discusses the Supreme Zourt’s hearing the oral arguments on Tennessee v. Lane, where Tennesee claims it need not accomodate the disabled by installing accessible ramps or elevators in its courts. The facts by themselves do not look like they’re in Tennesee’s favor – wherein, among other things, paraplegic Lane had to crawl up the stairs to attend to a case where he was a defendant to face misdemeanor charges for driving with a revoked license . Meanwhile, the law is always at issue – the Americans with Disabilities Act and whether it applies to the states, in particular. I’d rather wait and see what the Court will say when the opinion is out; I’m not going to predict based on what happened at oral arguments.
Okay, enough talk about the law and politics (especially politics – always dangerous stuff to talk about). A new episode of “Angel” tomorrow on WB; there’s also a new “Star Trek: Enterprise” on UPN (I’m definitely endorsing “Angel”; reserving judgment on “Star Trek: Enterprise”).